It was a beautiful Autumn Day – highs in the upper 70s, dipping down into the mid 40s overnight. The air was crisp, and clean and oh so beautiful. My menu for this perfect day was equally perfect – Lemon-Garlic Pork Medallions, Jasmine Vegetable Rice Pilaf and Green Beans. The Marinated Pork was in the refrigerator, just waiting to grace our table. Everything was in place. And then it happened – life had other plans.
As I sat at my computer, putting the final touches on an upcoming post, one of those little alerts popped up. A private message from my youngest sister. Dad had fallen, broken his hip and was in the hospital about to undergo surgery. Needless to say, plans for dinner went right out the window. We made the hour-long drive to be at his side. I’m happy to report the surgery went well. At his age, the road to a full recovery holds a few hurdles, but Dad’s a real fighter. He’ll be out there walking with his goats in no time.
The day after Dad’s surgery I was faced with a small dilemma of my own. It was Friday. In our house, most Friday nights the meals are meatless, as in Pre-Vatican II teachings. And I was so looking forward to Seared Scallops over Squid Ink Pasta. But then there was the pork, already thawed in the refrigerator, while the scallops were still in the freezer. The scallops would keep. The pork on the other hand needed to be eaten soon. Oh sure, the pork could have waited until Saturday, except we weren’t going to be in town on Saturday. Tickets bought, plans made, that sort of thing. While we do strive to follow the Pre-Vatican II teachings regarding dietary restrictions on Fridays, I knew if I cooked up the a pork tenderloin, we were not going to hell. There are other ways to honor Friday, being wasteful with food isn’t one of them. So pork it was.
Next came the asparagus, planned as a side for the Scallops. Those needed to be served with Pork Medallions instead. Jasmine Rice Pilaf wasn’t hitting the mark with me either. But a simple Fettuccine Alfredo sounded lovely. So it was out with everything planned. Plans are great, but not carved in stone. Besides, I was headed into my kitchen with some creative juices flowing. I had already developed a lovely recipe using marinated pork. All I needed to do was just tweak things just a little. Wow, we sure had a great meal.
Lemon-Garlic Pork Medallions and Asparagus
1 lb Pork Tenderloin Hormel Lemon-Garlic
2 pressed Garlic Cloves
2 minced Garlic Cloves
1/4 cup Red Onion, chopped
1 lb Asparagus, trimmed
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
3/4 cup White Wine
2 tablespoons Butter
Slice pork tenderloin into 1/2-inch thick medallions. Set aside until ready to cook.
Peel the garlic. Finely mince 2 cloves, set aside. Keep 2 cloves whole to press into the skillet when called for, set aside.
Finely chop the red onion, set aside.
Rinse asparagus, trim any woody ends. The asparagus should all be of the same length when finished trimming. Set aside.
Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add Pork Medallions and cook until nicely browned; about 3 minutes per side.
Remove pork from skillet, tent to keep warm. Reduce heat under the pan to medium. Press 2 garlic cloves into the now empty skillet, sauté about 30 seconds or just until fragrant.
Add wine and onions to the pan. Arrange the asparagus in the pan in a single line. Sprinkle the minced garlic over the asparagus tips. Bring to a boil over medium heat.
Return pork to pan, arrange over the asparagus, cover and cook about 10 minutes. Turn pork medallions over, add the butter, cover and continue to cook about 5 minutes longer or until the pork is no longer pink.
Transfer Medallions with asparagus to a serving platter, spoon sauce over everything and serve.